Growing in the south west, Blanche and I spent many a weekend exploring the coastal line of Devon and the wide beaches of Cornwall. Now living in London we love to make the most of any sunshine filled weekends and take the opportunity to head straight to the sea. We wanted to share with you some our favourite coastal daycation spots that are within easy reach of the big city.
Blanch and I have just come back from a festive weekend away in the beautiful city of Stockholm, Sweden. Winter is the perfect time to visit this scandi city, full of Christmas markets, bars serving warming mulled wine and streets lined with festival decorations, just be sure to wrap up warm and bring extra thick socks!
Autumn is one of my favourite times to head to the coast; it is still light enough to make the most of your day but also cold enough to wrap up warm in as many cosy layers as possible and spend the evening curled up in front of a log fire. There are so many beautiful parts of the British coast but being Devon girls we are a little partial to that particular county and they do do a great cream tea too- if we say so ourselves!
Don’t you just love being by the ocean in summer time? There’s something about feeling the cool sea breeze on your skin and sand between your toes. Brighton is one of my favourite seaside spots and being only an hour away from busy London it is the perfect weekend retreat, filled with beach strolls, fish n chips on the pier and vintage hunting in the wonderful lanes.
A couple of weekends back Olive and I headed to the rolling country side and thatched cottages of Stratford-Upon-Avon. We wanted to make the most of the amazing summer sun we are currently experiencing while escaping the mugginess of super hot London! If like us you fancy switching concrete for grass, then picturesque Stratford-Upon-Avon is the perfect country escape. Only an hour and a bit away by train from Marylebone station, this medieval market town is home to the River Avon, quaint streets full of super cute cottages and of course the birthplace of the great Shakespeare.
Start the day on the most famous tram route of Lisbon, the number 28 as it passes through the pretty ramblering streets and up to the castle of st George. Perched high over Lisbon, the castle has amazing views stretching out over the terracotta roof tops and to the sea and beyond. Once an old fort, the castle ruins are a great place to explore either by day or at dusk with a cappuccino in one hand and a pastel de nata in the other
Apologies for the lack of social media activity last week but Olive and I were enjoying some much needed down time by the sea with Theo the cockapoo. I don’t know about you but there is something super calming about the sea and a good old blustery walk on the beach is sometimes just what you need, especially as living in busy London can get a little over whelming at times!
Bruges, a fairy tale like medieval city that makes the perfect long weekend away in the winter months. During December and January the whole city comes alive with Christmas markets filled with the best Belgium chocolate and beer. We spent the majority of our days walking around in a sugar and beer induced haze!
Like us, if your idea of a weekend escape to the country is filled with mouth watering local dishes, too many comfy armchairs to curl up in and delicious cocktails by the fire then look no further than The Pig Hotels. The Pig oozes luxury it an unassuming, relaxed way where it is completely acceptable to wear your wellies to Sunday lunch. A couple of weekends ago, Olive and I took the opportunity to escape from the city for a Devon retreat away and couldn’t resist popping into The Pig at Combe for a pit stop.
You can quite easily spend a couple of days getting lost in the beautiful grounds of the hotel and Olive and I could definitely spend an afternoon sat on the swing watching the world go by sipping on a gin and tonic infused with herbs straight out of the walled garden. Or if that is not relaxing enough you can choose from of the many spa treatments held in a very sweet potting shed tucked out of sight in one of the courtyards.
We have visited The Pig at Combe once before however this time we were lucky enough to get a table in their main restaurant for a well deserved cocktail and the most delicious Saturday lunch time feast, filled with yummy piggy bits and our favourite gin jelly.
The entire menu is mouth watering, after lots of debate Olive choose the lamb and I had the fish for our mains. We also shared a big bowl of greens, fresh new potatoes and my personal favourite tobacco fried onions, salty yet sweet they go with everything and are far too addictive! We also shared a couple of the smaller ‘piggy bits’ plates to start, all sound incredible but we can definitely recommend the scotch eggs and cheese filled croquettes.
There are many elements that make The Pig special from the fact that everyone is super friendly and always seem to remember your name to the relaxed country chic interiors that you make you feel so at home. One of our favourite things is that all of the food and drink served in the restaurant is all local and sourced within a 25 mile radius, supporting local farmers and produce. Due to this the menu varies completely from hotel to hotel and as The Pig at Combe is near the coast we had a lot of delicious fish and seafood dishes on our menu.
The Pig Hotels makes good food, great drinks and a lovely relaxed atmosphere look effortlessly easy, everyone who works there are super friendly and will go out of their way to make you feel like this is your country home for the weekend. If you are ever near Exeter for the weekend we cannot recommend calling in for a bite to eat, or maybe just to put your feet up with a cup of tea and a large slice of homemade cake after country walk through the valley.
Blanch + Olive